When the pandemic began in early 2020 and businesses began to shutter, the opportunity Chris DeVol had been waiting for presented itself.
The owner of the Son Of Thurman restaurant in downtown Delaware saw a social media post that the Mudflats Bar & Grill was permanently closing its doors.“ I called my real estate agent that minute and told him to get after it,” Chris said. “I had been thinking about opening another location, and I always try to keep my ear to the ground for opportunities, but nothing had really interested me until I saw this location might become available. We were able to hammer out a deal, and here we are.
”The second Son of Thurman opened on the square in Galena in March. This followed the opening of the Delaware location in February 2014. Chris is the great grandson of Nick Suclescy, who founded the famous Thurman’s Café in the German Village section of Columbus in 1942.The Son of Thurman features many of the giant burgers and other menu items that made the Thurman Café a Columbus landmark.
The Galena location has been a big hit on the square. Mayor Jill Love said the opening of Son of Thurman was like “a shot of adrenaline” to a downtown square that also includes the Galena Diner and The Coffee Vault.“ Our little downtown is just booming,” Jill said. “Chris has done a wonderful job renovating the building and bringing more business to town. Son of Thurman has been a great addition to our square. Galena is open for business.” Chis tips his hat to real estate agent Brett Post and Richwood Bank’s Kent Kramer for working the deal that allowed him to purchase the building at 31 W. Columbus Street. He has opened up a previously closed-in section of the dining room and added to the bar. Chris and his son did much of the work, including restoring the old hardwood flooring.
A large awning was added to the front of the building where patrons can enjoy a cold beverage on the patio while waiting for their table. He plans to put sides on the awning and heat the patio when the weather turns cold. The Son of Thurman also has outdoor dining on a deck in the back of the restaurant that Chris is hoping to expand. “I think you have to invest a little blood and sweat in your businesses,” Chris said. “My son and daughter both work here. We’re invested in the restaurant and the community.”
Chris had only been open a few days when he was asked to participate in a bicycle rally to benefit Pelotonia. Soon, the Thurman Burger Bash Ride to Cure Cancer was launched. Chris said he plans to stay involved and make it an annual event.
“You’ve got to give back to the community; I really believe that,” Chris said. “I’m excited that Son of Thurman is open in Galena and we’re very happy to be part of a growing, vibrant community.”